Medicare Changes Mean New Cataract Treatment Options

Older Americans can choose between lens types

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THURSDAY, July 21, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- New Medicare guidelines should make cataract treatment available to more Americans than ever before, according to Prevent Blindness America, the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization.

Guideline changes announced in early May now allow Medicare recipients with cataracts a choice. They can receive basic lens replacement, paid in full up to $2,000, or they can apply the credit to improved lenses that also correct farsightedness.

"We hope that this new Medicare policy change will help to ease the burden of costs to many of our seniors so they can afford and have access to the latest in cataract surgery technology," said Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president of Prevent Blindness America.

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in people older than 65. The surgery has a 95 percent success rate and, in general, requires a minimal recovery time.

Over 20.5 million Americans suffer from cataracts, according to Prevent Blindness America.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health have more about cataracts.

SOURCES: Prevent Blindness America, news release, July 14, 2005

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